Nocturnal house

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Animal in the nocturnal house at the Calgary Zoo.

A nocturnal house, sometimes called a nocturama,[1] is a building in a zoo or research establishment where nocturnal animals are kept and viewable by the public. The unique feature of buildings of this type is that the lighting within is isolated from the outside and reversed; i.e. it is dark during the day and lit at night. This is to enable visitors and researchers to more conveniently study nocturnal animals during daylight hours.

Internally, a building usually consists of several glass-walled enclosures containing a replica of the animals' normal environments. In the case of burrowing animals, often their tunnels are 'half-glassed' so the animals can be observed while underground.


  1. ^ The Rotarian - Jan 1977 - Page 19 "Although ours is a private zoological organization, we still manage to operate an aquarium, a dolphinarium, a planetarium, a nocturama, a botanical garden, a museum of natural history, a public library, a natural reserve of some 100 hectares ..."

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